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USS PAUL F. FOSTER (DD-964)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NMDX

CLASS - SPRUANCE As Built.
Displacement 7800 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 563' (oa) x 55' x 20' 6" (Max)
Armament 2 x 5"/54 RF (2x1), 1 Sea Sparrow SAM (1x8) ASROC ASW (1x8),
6 x 12.75" Mk 32 ASW TT (2x3). 1 Helicopter.
Machinery, 80,000 SHP; 4 LM 2500 Gas Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 30 Knots, Range 6000 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 296.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Litton Ingalls, Pascagoula Miss. February 6 1973.
Launched February 22 1974 and commissioned February 21 1976.
Decommissioned March 14 2003.
Stricken April 6, 2004.
Fate March 27 2003 turned over to Naval Surface Warfare Center
Port Hueneme Division as the Navy’s new Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS).

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Foster 62kPaul Frederick Foster was born in Wichita, Kansas on 25 March 1889, and attended the University of Idaho and was then appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with the class of 1911. Following graduation he joined the USS Washington (CA-11) in which he served until December of that year, when he was transferred to the newly commissioned USS Utah (BB-31). While serving in UTAH, he participated in the Mexican Campaign, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, for "Distinguished conduct in battle engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 & 22 April 1914. In both days, fighting at the head of his company, Ensign Foster was eminent and conspicuous in his conduct, leading his men with skill and courage." In December 1914 Admiral Foster had submarine instruction aboard the USS Prairie (AD-5) and the USS G-4 (SS-26). In February 1916, he assumed command of G-4. He was then assigned to command the USS AL-2 (SS-41), which, while operating off Bantry Bay was credited with sinking the German submarine (UB-65), one of three officially listed as sunk by the U.S. Navy. While in command, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for "Exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as commanding officer of the USS AL-2 in an encounter with an enemy submarine on 10 July 1918, in which the enemy submarine was sunk." In January 1924 he was ordered to Philadelphia to assist in fitting out the USS Trenton (CL-11), and he served aboard as Engineering Officer upon commissioning on 19 April 1924. In January 1927 he was awarded the Navy Cross for "Extraordinary heroism on the occasion of the turret explosion on board the USS TRENTON." Lieutenant Commander Foster was the first man to receive all three of the Navy's highest awards. From March 1927, when he resigned his regular commission, he was active in various civilian organizations, some directly involved with U.S. Military functions. In 1941 he was recalled to active duty where he served on the Navy Inspector General's Staff and during World War II conducted three major inspections at personal direction of President Roosevelt. In June 1954, Admiral Foster joined the staff of the Atomic Energy Commission as special assistant to the General Manager for International Activities and on 1 July 1957 he was appointed General Manager of the AEC, where he served until June 1958. In 1959, President Eisenhower appointed him to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria with the rank of Ambassador. He served in this position until 1961. Admiral Foster died in 1972 in Virginia Beach, VA at age 83. Photo #: NH 78619, Vice Admiral Paul F. Foster, USNR (1889-1972) photographed circa the 1950s. As an Ensign, Foster was awarded the Medal of Honor for "distinguished conduct in battle" during the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico on 21-22 April 1914. Courtesy of Mr. James Russell. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Robert M. Cieri
Foster 62kArtist's conception of the ship by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Foster 68kUndated, location unknown.-
Foster 130kUndated, forward view of the Spruance class destroyer, shown at sea, at speed-
Foster 58kUndated postcard Copyright © Marine Photos, San Diego, CA.Mike Smolinski
Foster 130kUndated image from the NAVSEA Journal.Bob Bush
Foster 137kUndated, Navy's test ship for experimental weapons and sensors. U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program based in San Diego, California. Dolphins trained for military uses..Tommy Trampp
Foster 166kLitton East Bank Shipyard, Pascagoula, Mississippi. Six Spruance class destroyers fitting out, circa May 1975. Ships are, from left: Paul F. Foster (DD-964); Spruance (DD-963), then running trials; Arthur W. Radford (DD-968); Elliot (DD-967); Hewitt (DD-966) and Kinkaid (DD-965). Official U.S. Navy Photograph.Fred Weiss
Foster 90kGearing-class destroyer USS Hollister (DD-788) alongside the Spruance-class destroyer USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964), probably at San Diego, California, circa 1976. U.S. Navy photo from the USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964) 1976-77 cruise book.Robert Hurst
Foster 155kNewspaper clipping circa March 1976.Ron Reeves
Foster 164kDN-SC-85-06064. A starboard quarter view of the destroyer USS PAUL F. FOSTER (DD 964) moored at the Broadway Pier, San Diego. In front of the PAUL F. FOSTER is the SS Star of India. Photo by PH1 A. E. Legare, March 12 1976.Bill Gonyo
Foster 43kDN-SC-85-06045. A port quarter view of the destroyer USS PAUL F. FOSTER (DD 964) underway off the coast of Southern California. A Light Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 33 (HSL-33) SH-2F Seasprite helicopter can be seen aboard the ship. Photo by PH1 A. E. LEGARE dated April 2 1976.-
Foster 63kSeatle August 1980.Marc Piché
Foster 64kAs above.Marc Piché
Foster 111kFremantle 1984Graeme D Fuller
Foster 57kSan Francisco October 12 1985.Marc Piché
Foster 43kAs above.Marc Piché
Foster 244kUSS Paul F. Foster (DD-964) underway on 1 April 1986, location unknown. USN photo DN-SC-90-01805.Robert Hurst
Foster 95kEntering Sydney Harbor September 1986.Paul Coleman
Foster 73kSydney, Australia September 1986.Marc Piché
Foster 65kFremantle, Australia December 27 1986.Marc Piché
Foster 76kUSS Paul F. Foster in Hong Kong with fleet ships P240 Plover and P241 Starling, May 12 1991.William Chiu
Foster 79kMay 12 1991 in Hong Kong Harbor.William Chiu
Foster   Foster   Foster   Foster
Foster   Foster   Foster   Foster
Welcome Aboard pamphlet - circa 1995
Wolfgang Hechler
Foster 142kNovember 1995, passing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.William T. Larkins/Dave Armitage
Foster 37kFremantle, Australia July 22 1997.Marc Piché
Foster 80kVancouver September 3 1999.Marc Piché
Foster 41kVancouver September 7 1999.Marc Piché
Foster   Foster   Foster   Foster   Foster   Foster
Foster   Foster   Foster   Foster   Foster   Foster
Welcome Aboard pamphlet - circa 2000
Wolfgang Hechler
Foster 90kPacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, July 6 2002, the guided missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) launches an SM-2 Standard missile from her forward Vertical Launch System (VLS) during exercise "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC) 2002. The guided missile frigate USS Crommelin (FFG 37) (right) and the Spruance-class destroyer USS Paul F. Foster (DD 964) (center) follow in formation. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Chris Desmond. [020706-N-5862D-090].Fabio Peña
Foster 66kAt sea with USS Paul F. Foster (DD 964), October 29 2002, the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster turns away after an attempt to replenish fuel from the Military Sealift Command ship (MSC) USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204). The seas were too high and conditions too rough to safely execute a scheduled replenishment at sea (RAS). Later in the day, calmer seas allowed the two ships to connect and complete their mission. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class William H. Ramsey.Fred Weiss
Foster 95kFrom aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), October 29 2002, the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster (DD 964) approaches the starboard side of the Military Sealift Command ship USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) to take on fuel. Replenishments at sea enable Navy ships to remain deployed at sea for indefinite periods of time. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class William H. Ramsey.Fred Weiss
Foster 162k021125-N-1777B-002 Qingdao, China, November 25 2002, Cmdr. Chuck Nygaard Commanding Officer of the U.S. Navy’s Spruance-class destroyer USS Paul F. Foster (DD 964), asks Vice Adm. Din Yi Ping, Commander, People's Liberation Army, North Sea Fleet, about operations aboard the Chinese Destroyer Qingdao (DD 113) in the ship's central control station. Sailors from both the Paul F. Foster and Qingdao toured spaces aboard each other's ships. Paul F. Foster, homeported in Everett, Wash., is the first U.S. Navy ship to visit Mainland China since March 2001, following the downing of a U.S. Navy EP-3E “Aeries” reconnaissance aircraft in April 2001. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Shawn Burns.Bill Gonyo
Foster 127k021125-N-1777B-003 Qingdao, China, November 25 2002, Cmdr. Chuck Nygaard (second from the right) Commanding Officer of the U.S. Navy’s Spruance class destroyer USS Paul F. Foster (DD 964), discusses flight operations with Capt. Li Yu Jie (second from the left), Commanding Officer of Qingdao (DD 113), during a tour aboard the Chinese Destroyer. Sailors from both the Paul F. Foster and Qingdao toured spaces aboard each other's ships. Paul F. Foster, homeported in Everett, Wash., is the first U.S. Navy ship to visit Mainland China since March 2001, following the downing of a U.S. Navy EP-3E “Aeries” reconnaissance aircraft in April 2001. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Shawn Burns.Bill Gonyo
Foster 81kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Decatur (DDG-31) At Port Hueneme, California, 16 June 2003. The decommissioned destroyer Paul F. Foster (DD-964), in the distance, was then being prepared to become the new SDTS, replacing the ex-Decatur. Note the towing fitting installed on the ship's bow. Photographed by Frank V. Thompson. Courtesy of Frank V. Thompson, 2003. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Foster 148kAt Port Hueneme, California, May 29 2005.Steve Singlar
Foster 89kSelf Defense Test Ship (SDTS), formerly USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964) at Bravo Pier, San Diego Bay, May 11 2006.David Berg
Foster 222k111117-N-ZZ999-142. Pacific Ocean, November 17 2011, the decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer ex-Paul F. Foster (EDD-964) conducts a successful demonstration of shipboard alternative fuel use while underway in the Pacific Ocean on a 50-50 blend of an algae-derived, hydro-processed algal oil and petroleum F-76. Paul F. Foster has been reconfigured as the Self-Defense Test Ship to provide the Navy an at-sea, remotely controlled, engineering test and evaluation platform without the risk to personnel or operational assets. U.S. Navy photo by Charlie Houser.Philip Sims
Foster 142kAs above.Wolfgang Hechler
Foster 100kAs above.Wolfgang Hechler
Foster 134kLeaving Port Hueneme on November 21 2013.Carl Friedlander
Foster 88kShip's patchMike Smolinski
Foster 44kShip's patchMike Smolinski

USS PAUL F. FOSTER DD-964 History
Note: History is unavailable at this time
This ship was built too late to be covered by the DANFS project

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR George Edward Sullivan III   Feb 21 1976 - Apr 7 1978
CDR Albert Lee Kaiss    Apr 7 1978 - May 11 1980
CDR Theodore Charles (Ted) Lockhart    May 11 1980 - May 17 1982 (later RADM)
CDR Laurence Hay Turner Jr.    May 17 1982 - Jun 15 1984
CDR Raymond Paul Conrad    Jun 15 1984 - Nov 1 1986
CDR Robert Benell Danberg    Nov 1 1986 - Feb 11 1989
CDR Timothy Michael Ahern    Feb 11 1989 - Feb 23 1991
CDR Edward Joseph Kujat    Feb 23 1991 - Nov 28 1992
CDR Kim Smith Buike    Nov 28 1992 - Aug 1994
CAPT David Alan Gelenter    Aug 1994 - Aug 4 1995
CDR David Michael Armitage    Aug 4 1995 - Jun 17 1997
CDR Thomas Scott Abernethy    Jun 17 1997 - Nov 6 1998
CDR Thomas John Strei Jr.    Nov 6 1998 - Jun 5 2000
CDR Thomas Langhorne Reese    Jun 5 2000 - Feb 11 2002
CDR John Charles (Chuck) Nygaard    Feb 11 2002 - Mar 14 2003

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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